Partner: the pulldown hose for the kitchen sink has a bad leak. I'd like to replace the faucet, a similar model is $400

Me: how about $17 for a replacement hose and 15 minutes to fix it ourselves?

Partner: wait, that's an option?!

People talk about Right To Repair a lot, and it is important, but there's still a lot of work to do on Repair Culture. If people don't believe repair is a reasonable course of action, if their impulse is to replace instead of see if it's fixable, if they don't have the context and training and confidence to fix things, then repairs don't happen.

@calcifer It was a bit surreal attending the Australian Right to Repair conference remotely. In that were arguments as to where the blame belongs. And the Australian government doesn't seem to be thinking about the issue of electronic waste correctly (they think of it in terms of grams of waste, not joules).

But definitely some of it is on our cultural attitudes!


@alcinnz I don't find blame particularly useful as an impetus for social change. I prefer "where does change need to happen"

People who buy things need to be convinced that repair is possible and beneficial. Incentives need to change (we need to fix the frequency with which buying new costs far less than a routine repair). We need to hold manufacturers accountable for design decisions that serve little purpose beyond increasing repair difficulty. We need to convince engineers that it's unethical to design things that significantly increase repair cost and complexity just to save a small amount of money. Etc.

@calcifer @alcinnz Incentivising *professional* repair services to come back would sure help too. I've got a bunch of broken stuff that I know *can* be repaired with ten minutes of expert labor and a five dollar part, but I don't have the qualification to be sure I won't start a fire

@calcifer @alcinnz And even in the cases where I can find a service for these, they're always mail-in now, and safely packing and shipping these things tends to be about as hard as the repair itself

While regulations are desirable (e.g. gas plumbing), there has to be a reasonable limit. Lawsuit culture has made it impossible to do repairs to non critical stuff.

Speaking from a third world country where capitalism hasn't fully rooted itself, here in Mexico we have "el maestro", the jack-of-all-trades repairman who does painting, plumbing, electrical installations, etc. It's not corporate controlled, you can find them in your local tlapalería or plomería. Repairing stuff here is incredibly cheap, if only because we don't have to buy the whole replacement.

Unfortunately in the US the combination of culture, economics and cancerous capitalism has made it impossible to do these kind of repairs, and that should outrage everybody.

@calcifer @alcinnz

@yuki @Nentuaby @calcifer Meanwhile here in Nelson I'll be aiding a local "repair cafe" this Saturday (today's Thursday).

Not professional, but still.

@yuki @calcifer @alcinnz Can't agree with your assessment of the reasons. We certainly have problem litigators here and there, but the idea that America has a problem with runaway, trigger-happy lawsuit culture is largely the invention of corporate PR machines looking to vilify those who would hold them responsible for willfully putting lives over profits.

I think the lack of professional repair is simply down to the same reasons as the lack of consumer repair.

@yuki @Nentuaby @calcifer @alcinnz

I think it has more to do with the economic aspects than the lawsuits. In our third world countries, labor is (comparatively) cheap, but high-tech devices are extremely expensive. First-world countries have shaped the world economy to make it possible for them to import final products very cheaply... especially in proportion to their wages.

yeah I mentioned the lawsuits for excessive regulations. Like, you can't do this is you don't have a license, and getting a license costs a lot of money, etc.
@Nentuaby @calcifer @alcinnz

@yuki @eldaking @Nentuaby @calcifer Or the "void your warranty" lies?

Why do you even care about a warranty if it's stopping you from getting the device repaired?

@yuki @Nentuaby @calcifer @alcinnz Yeah, the US is certainly lawsuit happy. But in terms of customer protections, I'd say it lets sellers get away with a lot more than most places. In Brazil many of those waiers and disclaimers of liability we see in US stuff wouldn't be valid in the first place, for example (so companies are always liable for some of those things).

And, well, the corner repair shops around here don't exactly have a reputation for following the laws we have. :P

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